Health officials have noted that the on-going mosquito net distribution campaigned dubbed ‘under the net’ is not only a mere distribution exercise but is also meant to advocate for proper utilisation of the nets.
Michael Nsimbi, the assistant health educator from Wakiso district says in past campaigns, may Ugandans have not put the distributed nets to proper use.
“There are some people who get these nets and keep them in the bag for the visitors who are coming probably one time or some other day. But we are saying that if you get these nets, kindly utilise them,” he said.
Currently, wave 5 out of the six waves in the net distribution is going on, covering a total of 25 districts.
Dr Daniel Kyabayinze, from the ministry of health’s Malaria Control Division said that although people do have nets in their home, it’s not just good enough if they can’t sleep under them every night.
So, our advocacy and communication is now focussing on getting people to sleep under the mosquito net.” He explained.
Oliva Babirye, principal assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in Wakiso district called upon Village Health Team members to educate the masses on the proper net usage. She said,
“We anticipate that everyone in the district knows why we are distributing these nets and we expect them to ensure that they use these nets for the purpose to which they have been distributed to them. We request the health educators and the VHTs to ensure that people use these nets for their right purpose.”
Dr Kyabayinze noted that 1% of the population may react to the chemicals used in the mosquito nets. This he said, nonetheless should not be an excuse for them to use nets for other purposes.
“The chemicals put in these nets have been studied extensively. There are some people who may react as some are allergic; have sinuses and asthma, that these chemicals put on the net may affect them or may have un expected reaction.”
“However, when we give out nets, we tell these people to spread them out so that that chemical is evenly distributed in the whole net and people have been trained on how to use the net. The kind of nets we have and all the chemicals used have been satisfied by WHO, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and National Drug Authority.”